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People in the News: Feb 20, 2009

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) - Former National Institutes of Health Director Elias Zerhouni has joined the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as a senior fellow in the Global Health Program. In this role, Zerhouni will advise the foundation on a variety of health-related areas, particularly the Grand Challenges in Global Health initiative, which aims to identify and help solve the scientific problems facing human health worldwide.

"I have had a long-standing commitment to reducing the burden of the many diseases suffered by the most vulnerable of us across the world," Zerhouni said in a statement. The Gates Foundation, he said, "is committed to the same goals and has become one of the most effective forces for innovative change in global health."

Zerhouni was NIH director between 2002 and 2008, and before that he was vice dean for research and executive vice dean of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine for seven years.

Aushon Biosystems has hired Mark Schmeizl to be VP of North American sales. Schmeizl previously was a senior sales and marketing executive at PerkinElmer, Cisbio, and Affymetrix.

David Cox has joined Pfizer at chief scientific officer of its target generation unit. Cox was a co-founder of Perlegen and he served as CSO at the company since 2000. He was a genetics and pediatrics professor at Stanford University School of Medicine and he was a co-director of the Stanford Genome Center.

Proxeon has tapped Fiona Ford to serve as VP of global sales, Erik Verschuuren to be VP of European sales, and Russ Constantineau to be eastern regional manager. Ford previously was a senior director at Incyte and at Ciphergen. Verschuuren previously was at GE Healthcare, and Constantineau previously was at Eksigent and Gilson.

Exagen Diagnostics has named John Alsobrook to be VP and chief operating officer. Alsobrook has been at the company since 2006, and before that he was a consultant for clients including Amersham Health, GE Healthcare, and Massachusetts General Hospital. He also was a faculty scientist at the Yale School of Medicine Child Study center.

Joshua LaBaer will take on the post of director of the new Virginia G. Piper Center for Personalized Diagnostics at Arizona State University.

LaBaer served a clinical fellowship at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and he was an instructor and clinical fellow in medicine at Harvard Medical School. He is a member of the scientific advisory boards for the Proteome Society, Lumera-Plexera, the Barnett Institute, and he is a founding member of the Human Proteome Organization. He also founded the Harvard Institute of Proteomics in 1999

RainDance has appointed Patrick Kelly to be European sales director. Kelly has worked at Helicos Biosciences as global business manager for European operations. He also worked at Agilent Technologies as an international business manager, and he was a European site manager and VP of sales and support for Affymetrix Europe.

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